NWSL Draft 2015 – Third Round Review/Analysis

19 – Washington (from FC Kansas City) – Caprice Dydasco – D (LB) – UCLA

Well, the Spirit kind of lucked into getting the left-back they really needed, but it also cost them dearly with two second round picks next season when they probably should have taken Dydasco in the second round and hoped that Oyster would’ve been around at #30. Dydasco is probably a small notch below Gilliland and Hinkle as a left-back in this class but is still a consistent and dangerous performer in attack and defense. There’s a solid chance she can step right in at left-back and let Crystal Dunn play higher up the pitch.

20 – Boston – Sam Lofton – D (LB) – James Madison

A huge reach here. Lofton isn’t foreign to some higher level competition despite playing in the CAA, having played with the Washington Spirit reserves last year in the W-League. But she’s also a late bloomer, having not really excelled until this season. And that was having played a lot of the season as an attacker for the Dukes after having played on defense earlier in her career, specifically at left-back. She’s got the size to play in the middle though, and some of that versatility may be what helps her stick. But she’s still a project who may struggle to make the final roster.

21 – WNY Flash – Sabrina D’Angelo – GK – South Carolina

Great pick for the Flash, who grab the best goalkeeper available with their last pick in this draft. D’Angelo’s a tick below the best prospects historically, but she’s probably got the best upside of anyone in this class in goal. She’s got a nice combination of physical traits, including great footwork, a nice kicking game, and excellent shot-stopping ability. However, D’Angelo can struggle with crosses at times and can be struck with the odd individual error that usually afflicts young goalkeepers. But those flaws are fixable, and D’Angelo is probably going to be #1 for club and country sooner rather than later.

22 – Sky Blue FC – Daphne Corboz – MF (AMC) – Georgetown

Hey! I nailed this one exactly. Corboz is a hometown product who previously played with SBFC’s reserve team last season, so it’s not exactly rocket science. And it may not be the biggest need either, with the club already having Katy Freels to serve as the playmaker-in-chief. But a little depth never hurt anyone, and Corboz can add the occasional score from midfield as well. It should be noted that the former Hoya has French heritage, meaning there might be competition for her services from European clubs as well, so it’s not guaranteed she suits up for SBFC.

23 – Chicago – Cara Walls – F (CF, RF) – Wisconsin

Chicago probably needed a couple forwards in this class for depth, and they get some pretty good value at this point with a Midwestern prospect in Walls. The Wisconsin forward generally puts it in the back of the goal when she hits the target. But that’s far from the most certain prospect considering her shots on goal mark has declined every season in Madison, dropping to 34.5% this season. Walls probably isn’t going to be a big connector either, with six assists in four seasons, but she’s a good poacher and could make a mark as a super sub to begin her pro career.

24 – Boston – Bianca Brinson – F (RF) – Texas A&M

Brinson’s not a terrible pick by any means and had a very productive season out on the wing for Texas A&M, but, again, why Boston? The Breakers pretty much took the same player a round earlier with Jamia Fields: an athletic, hard working right winger. Brinson’s probably a little bit better in front of goal than Fields though and may actually be the better player when all is said and done. But considering the dearth of central midfielders and how shaky the defense still looks, why this pick?

25 – Sky Blue FC – Shade Pratt – D (CB), F (CF) – Maryland

I think everyone assumed that SBFC needed to get a little faster at center-back, and Pratt certainly provides that as potentially one of the fastest players in this draft class. The problem is, she’s very, very raw at this point and was bounced around the pitch this season by a pretty mediocre Terps team, being asked to play center forward to try and inject some life into a struggling attack. A project with upside, but probably one of the better ones in this class.

26 – FC Kansas City – Jessie Ayers – MF – Colorado College

Weird pick considering FCKC just took Shea Groom earlier. Ayers isn’t near the scoring threat that Groom is, but she’s a dynamic midfielder who dominated mid-major competition for Colorado College. Her stock slipped a bit though as CC struggled in 2014, and this may have been a bit high for her. Given the sheer numbers in midfield, she’ll struggle to make this roster, and I wonder if the club couldn’t have used stoma depth at full-back or another center-forward more.

27 – Chicago – Nicole Setterlund – MF (DMC), D (CB) – Washington State

So Chicago does end up taking Setterlund, just a little bit later than I thought they would in my mock draft. But this is a pretty good pick for value and need for the Red Stars, as Setterlund can slot in at defensive midfield or at center-back, both positions of need right now. The Canadian probably shows a bit more nuance than a pure destroyer at the position but is still good in the air at 5’9″. She was a big deal as a youth international for Canada a while back and could realistically get back in the WNT mix if she can stand out.

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